May 23, 2003
In the fiercest firefight of the day, about 20 soldiers ambushed a rebel group collecting supplies in Pidie district. Three were killed and one escaped. While soldiers were searching the area, they came under fire from what was believed to be a larger rebel force. A military spokesman said that 11 more rebels were killed in three separate clashes during the day, bringing to 36 the number of GAM killed (along with 16 captured) since the 19th.
There were also growing fears of food shortages in Aceh, after trucking firms stopped deliveries from neighboring North Sumatra as drivers reported threats and attacks on their vehicles from unidentified armed civilians. - Adam Geibel